I’ve watched each of the original Star Wars movies hundreds of times each. So I can tell if a anything in them is amiss almost instantaneously. So when I see any deleted scenes, my hair immediately stands up. There’s Star Wars that I haven’t seen?! Floating around the internet are some of the deleted scenes from the original series. They’re interesting in that they provide additional characterizations and characters that were cut. But they’re also the chaf that had to be separated from the wheat – and for good reason. Take a look for yourself.
A New Hope
The biggest highlight of A New Hope was a great focus on Luke Skywalker’s. We get to see him at the Tosche Station with his friends (wasting time, of course). We see Luke observing the space battle while performing his farming duties. But we also get to see the full interaction between Luke and Biggs Darklighter. Biggs was the pilot with the mustache who died (last) in the trench run at the end of this film. In the special editions, we got to see Luke and Biggs reuniting prior to Luke getting into his X-Wing.
These deleted scenes articulate the full backstory of Biggs: he’s home from the Imperial Academy and tells Luke of his plans to join the Rebellion. Luke, rather envious, laments his inability to leave home per his Uncle’s wishes.
Also interesting is the reuniting scene with Biggs just prior to the Death Star attack. This is an alternate scene than what appeared to in the Special Edition re-releases. In this version, Garven Dreis (“Red Leader”) notes that he knew Skywalker’s father. This seems like a remnant of the previous story line where Luke’s father was killed by Vader (and not Vader himself).
It’s also interesting to note how humble the production seems to be. These scenes were deleted from the first of the largest film franchise in history. It feels like a TV movie actually. It’s clear the editors for this film did a great job of helping it be as great as it was/is.
Empire Strikes Back
There are some interesting scenes in this one. There are some interesting Leia / Han scenes where Han, frankly, is talking too much. There’s even an awkward scene where Leia is explaining to Luke what happened to Han while they are fleeing Bespin.
The most emotional scene, though also a bit awkward, was when Luke was trying to tell Leia that he needed to go away to “a system nearby” for some period of time. Leia, understandably, isn’t happy about this. But she also doesn’t understand this Jedi life that Luke is trying to live. Next thing you know… she’s throwing “nerfherder” around.
The most surprising/interesting from a story standpoint was a sub-story of the presence of ice creatures haunting the Echo base on Hoth. This makes some sense since the phrase “…then it isn’t another one of those creatures” always seemed out of place since no one else but Luke saw a Wompa. It’s pretty funny to see storm troopers getting killed during the Imperial attack on the base by the ice creatures. But it was a bit too campy and really takes away from the emotion of the moment.
Return of the Jedi
Luke finishes his light saber. That’s worth the price of admission right there.
The only other interesting element of these scenes are the plot element not present in the original film. There is a scene where the Emperor orders Grand Moff Jerjerrod to fire on Endor when the Death Star was fully complete. This changes the entire mind game being played by the Emperor to drive Luke to the Dark Side. But it also seems like it would change the type of special effects needed as well as put too much pressure on the rebel fleet. It wouldn’t really add to overall film either.